Professor Emeritus Reijo Luostarinen in Memoriam

Reijo Luostarinen (1939–2017) established International Business as an area of teaching and research at the Helsinki School of Economics.

Professor Emeritus Reijo Luostarinen (26 December 1939–24 November 2017) was the first Chaired Professor of International Marketing in Finland and one of the founders of the Finnish Graduate School in International Business (FIGSIB). Reijo also established the multidisciplinary International Design Business Management (IDBM) MSc programme that brought together business, art and technology long before Aalto University was formed. In addition, he served as Vice Rector for the School in 1992–1996 and retired from the Helsinki School of Economics in 2003.

Throughout his career Reijo combined smoothly teaching and research with consulting and various advisory roles. He was Chairman of the board of Biohit during 2003-2011 and a founder of several companies. Reijo was an enthusiastic teacher who possessed deep insight into managerial practice and whose stock of practical examples never ended. He maintained a continuous dialogue with top management of major Finnish internationalizing companies all his life.

Reijo’s passion for International Business and first-hand experience inspired many MSc students to write their thesis under his supervision within the FIBO (Finland’s International Business Operations) project. He also had a large number of PhD students whom he guided with devotion in research seminars. In February 2017, the International Business group at Aalto University School of Business invited all doctoral alumni to the School to celebrate the achievement of more than 50 PhDs in 25 years. Reijo had supervised the majority of them. At this event, Reijo gave a memorable and emotional speech about the history of International Business at the School.

As a researcher, Reijo was visionary and ahead of his time. Some of the research questions he raised already in the 1970s and 1980s are still relevant today. He had a very curious and analytical mind and was able to move comfortably between the world of practice and the world of academia. His pioneering research on the internationalization processes of firms is widely recognized and cited by international business researchers all over the world.

Reijo was an active member of several international academies. During his career he established a broad network of personal relationships with leading professors in International Business at top foreign universities, where he also was a regular visitor. The European International Business Academy (EIBA) was particularly dear to him as he was one of the founding members – and he was President of EIBA in 1989. Reijo was often accompanied by his wife, Kirsti, to international conferences. He was very proud to represent Finland abroad and raised the self-esteem of many young Finnish researchers.

The legacy of Reijo’s work lies in processual, phenomenon-based research. He taught several generations of international business practitioners and researchers whose thinking and mindsets he transformed. Reijo was motivated by intriguing research questions and by the desire to improve managerial decision-making. We will always treasure the memory of Reijo as the founding father of our discipline and a wonderful colleague and friend who was a very supportive mentor to younger colleagues in his department.

Instead of flowers, Reijo can be remembered through donations to the Kirsti & Reijo Luostarinen Internationalization Foundation under Liikesivistysrahasto which supports  economically disadvantaged students in the field.

Nordea FI34 1572 3000 0330 43, NDEAFIHH

Text: In memory of Reijo Luostarinen


Rebecca Piekkari
Hannu Seristö

  • Published:
  • Updated:
URL copied!

Read more news

Vivian Phan leaning on a grey wall
Studies Published:

“Have the tenacity and believe in your progress" – Studying quantum, the field of the future, now

Vivian Phan is a recent BA graduate of Aalto University’s Quantum Technology studies and currently working as part of the Micro and Quantum Systems research group. She shares what it’s like to build a career in a field that’s new and will most likely have its biggest impact years or decades from now.
Woman touching a long-sleeved Marimekko Unikko shirt on display
Research & Art Published:

Lab-grown pigments and food by-products: The future of natural textile dyes

As the environmental impact of the fashion and textile industries becomes clearer, the demand and need for sustainable alternatives is growing. One international research group aims to replace toxic synthetic dyes with natural alternatives, ranging from plants to microbes to food waste.
Early autumn outdoor picture of the pathways leading to the Undergraduate Centre. The sun is shining and paths are dry.
Campus, University Published:

Outdoor renovation of Otakaari 1 nearing completion

The renovation work around the Amphi square will be completed in the autumn 2022
Cooperation Published:

FCAI and Bitville collaborate to make learning easier with AI

Academy–industry collaboration can be a real win-win. In FCAI's new video series, we present successful collaborations. The third video in the series highlights collaboration between FCAI and digital learning company Bitville.